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  • The death of the NHS SYSCON model contract

    For more than 20 years, the NHS has used the SYSCON model contract to buy software licences, maintenance and support, and implementation projects. But now it seems to have died a death, and been replaced by the OGC model ICT services agreement (ironic, really, as the OGC contract is now a decade old and itself is being replaced by a new model contract created by the Government Legal Service). Although I've been one of the fiercest critics of SYSCON, at least it was familiar to NHS customers, their suppliers and the shoals of lawyers and advisers who swim around the NHS market place. We will miss the apparently random layout of clauses which looked like a child had chopped up a precedent book and reassembled the cuttings, and the novel concept of Contractor Undertakings. And how about trying to terminate the contract for material breach ? Then you had to sit down with the defaulting supplier and agree a reasonable notice period for them to remedy the breach. Gone, but not forgotten, and off to the great precedent graveyard in the sky.

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